Nonino Risit d'Aur Prize 2016

Simonit&Sirch Grape Preparers



Their work is masterly and it is a great example for the new generations: rediscovering the ancient
tradition of the manual pruning of the grapes, respecting natural balances, researching the absolute quality, challenging the future without forgetting the best part of the past. In this way they have preserved and innovated grape pruning, an excellence that had been lost. An extraordinary intuition that has brought them to be the reference persons of the most prestigious winemakers in the world.



Marco Simonit and Pierpaolo Sirch, from Friuli, after years of research and experimentation in the vineyards of Europe, have developed the Simonit & Sirch branched pruning method, which codified the correct rules of grape pruning and which is applied in many of the most important wineries in the world.
Both born in 1966, with families of peasant origin bound to agriculture and viticulture, in 2003 they founded the Grape Preparers, the only structured group at international level in the field of training of the staff employed for the manual pruning of the vineyards. There are currently consultants for more than 130 companies in Europe, the United States, Argentina, and South Africa.
In 2009 they created the Italian School of Vine Pruning: the centre of permanent training in partnership with important research centers, unique in its kind at international level, which has 15 seats in the main Italian wine regions.
The secret of the two Friulian grape Preparers looks like Columbus’s egg. They have resumed pruning techniques in use in the past but abandoned by modern viticulture, increasingly directed towards mechanical practices, hasty and with very little respect of the plant and its structure. Pruning is responsible for premature mortality of the grapevines, a very serious problem that afflicts vineyards all over the world. Wood diseases, like Esca grape disease, and the premature decay of the grapevines can be limited using the Simonit & Sirch branched pruning method, respectful of the lymph flow, which can be adopted on all types of plant breeding.
Marco Simonit and Pierpaolo Sirch, actually, have done much more than this. In these years have renewed the pruner’s role and given importance to his professionalism. They have managed to make the technique of pruning easy to learn, searching not only the best technique but also the best way, simple and contemporary to transfer it to others (by means of a Manual, courses and videos on YouTube). They have created a new professional figure, the “Pruning tutor”: highly trained pruners that are able to support, and train, in the vineyard the staff of the companies.
They are consultants of the most important wineries in the world, primarily of the legendary Château d’Yquem, Château La Tour, and Moët&Chandon.

Work published by Marco Simonit
Manual of grape pruning, Guyot, Edizioni l’Informatore Agrario, 2014